An Indian climber attempting to scale Mount Everest says ‘it was insane,” as 200 to 300 people try to climb the world’s highest peak on a single day earlier in May.
Mountaineer Rizza Alee from Kashmir had to abandon his climb to the summit due to a faulty oxygen regulator. So, the 18-year-old filmed the long line of climbers trying to get to the top of Mount Everest.
Footage shows a long queue of climbers standing back-to-back, holding on to ropes as they make their way up to the summit.
Alee said, “I saw the massive traffic jam on the Everest. … It was like, insane, I should say, like people were pushing themselves and the long lines of people around 200 to 300 people in a single line waiting for the summit.”
The Himalayan Mountain is so congested that crowds of mountaineers on the Nepalese side had to queue in line for the summit—at more than 26,000 feet above sea level.
Alee said the congestion on the slopes is happening because it is easy to get a permit. “People just throw the cash and they just get the permit to climb Everest because there are no criteria of climbing Everest.”
Alee saw many amateur climbers who do not even have basic climbing skills to scale the dangerous Himalayan slope. “Even some people were very old there,” said Alee.
“I may not climb Everest again because there’s not a climbing thing in Everest left now,” the young climber said. “It has become a garbage thing. There’s lots of garbage in it. People are putting the trash in it. It has become a trash mountain,” interjected Alee.
On Wednesday, Nepal commemorated the anniversary of the first ascent of Everest, amid a climbing season marred by the highest death toll in four years.
So far, 11 people have died this year while scaling Everest. Most of the deaths happened coming down from the congested traffic jam at the peak.
The high death toll has sparked a debate on whether the government should limit permits to prevent dangerous overcrowding on the mountain.
This year a record number of 381 permits has been issued. The experienced mountaineer said there should be “criteria to pass”—a standard that climbers must meet before being issued a permit. This can be a certain level of fitness and an age restriction.
Includes reporting from The Associated Press